Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in December, 2012

By on Dec 28, 2012 in Civil, Consumer Protection, Court, Criminal, Domestic Violence, DUI, Negotiation, Trial | 0 comments

For my final post of the year, I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer some of the questions I’ve gotten in the past 12 months. As I hope is obvious by now, I love talking about the law and my work. If you have a question about something I’ve written or a legal issue you may be facing, feel free to give me a call. With that said, let’s get to it! Q: Still having fun? A: Goodness yes. I love my job! I get to be creative and aggressive and negotiate and all those fun things. And I do it to help people! That’s not to say that the work isn’t sometimes stressful or there aren’t things that I wish I could change. But honestly I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing than practicing law. Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about law school? A: Don’t do it! The legal field is a quagmire! Save yourself!!! … Some lawyers would say exactly that, because that’s been their experience. Many of my colleagues are having a tough time, either because of poor economy or the work simply isn’t a good fit. And I’ll be the first to say that the economy is tough right now. Jobs are scarce, finances are scarce, and every year seems worse than before for a new lawyer. That being said, being a lawyer is (in my humble estimation) awesome. For the reasons I described above, you can do some really interesting things for a really good cause. Just as I know many lawyers who are experiencing buyer’s remorse, I know a bunch of attorneys who have found their dream job. Now, speaking about law school specifically, it’s a very different experience than actually practicing law. Having spoken to a lot of lawyers and a lot of law students before and after I got my own license, I learned an interesting trend: the people who really liked law school generally did not like practicing law as much. And the people who thrived in practice did not always thrive in law school. Personally I thought law school was ok, but it doesn’t hold a candle to practice. So my advice...

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By on Dec 18, 2012 in Communication, Court, Criminal, Trial | 0 comments

I’ve done this long enough to know two truths about juries: 1)      Juries want to do the right thing 2)      Juries have a very difficult job. Those two truths affect a lot of what I do as an attorney. Today’s post is about why a jury’s job is so tough, how wanting to do the right thing can get a juror into trouble, and what I do in trial to make their job easier and help ensure the jury returns a verdict in my client’s favor. The jury process is relatively simply. 6 or 12 citizens from the same county as the defendant are convened to listen to both sides of a case to determine whether the prosecutor met their burden of proof. Easy enough. The juror process is a lot more complex. The process of selecting a jury, called voir dire, is fairly time-consuming and intense, but that’s a post for another time. Even once a jury is chosen, the time-consuming and intense stuff continues into the trial itself. Our jury process makes some presumptions that are almost certainly false. The biggest presumptions are that jurors come into the process as blank slates, that they have no preconceived notions about certain witnesses, and they have no previous knowledge about the law. These witness preconceptions are obviously untrue. I will always ask potential jurors about their thoughts on police, and I will always get some response that shows their needle is definitely not on “neutral.” Some people are married to police or were saved from a crime by a police officer, their views on the police as a whole are positive. Other people have been falsely arrested by police or have been the victim of profiling. Their views are negative. And obviously, many people have preconceived notions of people who are charged with crimes, i.e. defendants. Addressing those preconceived notions is one part of my job. But the legal knowledge jurors bring with them can be just as problematic. To explain why, I need to explain the trial timeline. Why a juror’s job is tough After the voir dire, a final jury is empanelled. The judge formally reads the name of the defendant and what they’re charged with. Then...

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